Uber can finally offer its service in Jakarta, after months of battling taxi companies and authorities, who were investigating them. The market is very important to the company as it is one of the biggest in Southeast Asia.
This was confirmed by the top official of Jakarta’s transportation agency and it was the governor who gave permission for ride sharing apps such as Uber and GrabTaxi to operate in the area. The decision was made during a meeting on Monday between some of the companies and city officials.
The decision to allow these companies follows the approval of Uber’s foreign investment company last month. The popular ride sharing service still needs to create a legal entity. GrabTaxi already has it. The legal entities will pay tax and give the companies the right to make money.
The agency also wants the ride sharing apps to work with car rental companies. Uber is already doing that in some parts of the United States, offering car rentals to those who don’t own a car but want to work for the company.
Earlier this year, there was a police investigation on Uber after a group representing the taxis and other transportation operators said that the service was breaking the law by not having a license, coming up with its own fares and allowing payments with credit cards.
The investigation took three months and authorities seized 25 Uber vehicles and five from GrabTaxi. The cars will soon be released.
Uber has faced many obstacles in Jakarta, more than other markets nearby. They have made changes and the approval will now let them operate in the capital without any problems. Uber arrived to Jakarta last year and set up an office there. The company faced many obstacles as it was not allowed to make money in the country.
Mike Brown, Uber’s manager for the area, said in a statement that the governor’s support is encouraging. He added that the company would work with the agencies to make sure that Uber meets all the requirements. Other areas in the country still say these companies are illegal and won’t withdraw the complaint filed against them earlier this year.
Uber also launched its service in Sri Lanka today, a country with a population of 21 million people. The company hopes to catch the attention of the 20 percent of the population who own smartphones. Uber did not say how many cars were being used in the capital Colombo, where the service is now available. An Uber spokesman told reporters that the company was helping the government develop policy in Sri Lanka, where there are no regulations for taxis and apps like Uber.
Uber will face strong competition in the country as the three wheeled taxis are the most popular in the area.